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The ultimate guide to soft-serve ice cream in Philly, the suburbs, and the Shore

More than 25 shops to get old-school and new-school soft serve this summer, whether you're after chocolate-vanilla twist or honey-butter in a cone.

Vanilla bean soft serve ice cream at Baily's Dairy in West Chester, Pa. The milk comes from their cows.
Vanilla bean soft serve ice cream at Baily's Dairy in West Chester, Pa. The milk comes from their cows.Read moreDAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

Perhaps nothing embodies summer quite like soft-serve. A tower of fluffy-smooth vanilla ice cream coiled on a cone or in a cup — maybe dipped in rainbow sprinkles or a chocolate shell — is irresistible on a sticky August day. Drives to the beach or the mountains are lined with custard shacks and scoop shops sporting soft-serve silhouettes. There are reminders in the city, too, where the sounds of Mister Softee trucks echo through the streets.

Just in time for peak summer, here are 20-plus local spots in the Philly region to get your soft-serve fix. (Thanks to Inquirer readers who contributed suggestions.)

» READ MORE: In Philly and beyond, soft serve ice cream is more than chocolate, vanilla, and twist


Meticulously prepared Vietnamese coffee and food is the main draw at this sleek cafe and coffee roaster in the Harrowgate section of Kensington, but its menu also features condensed-milk and tropical pandan-flavored soft serve in cones, cups, and over lattes and black tea. Past popular flavors include mocha, avocado, and honey butter.

📍3400 J St., 📞 215-690-1268, 🌐

Acolytes of this seasonal Wissahickon scoop shop praise its homemade hand-dipped ice cream, but the soft serve is popular, too. Available in vanilla, chocolate, and twist, plus rotating flavors of Dole Whip dairy-free soft serve, it gets piped into ice-cream sandwiches and swirled together with toppings to make glaciers.

📍5461 Ridge Ave., 📞 215-487-1920, 🌐

Chloe’s Corner

Vanilla, chocolate, and twist are on tap year-round at Manayunk’s local ice cream shop. Look for the flamingo on Main Street.

📍4162 Main St.,📞 215-483-4162, 🌐

Besides cones, cups, and pints, you can get Coco Crushes (vanilla, chocolate, or swirled soft-serve blended with toppings) and Oreo and chocolate chip cookie soft-serve sandwiches at this Powelton Village storefront.

📍3632 Powelton Ave., 📞 267-353-8059, 🌐

South Philly lines up for the over-the-top soft-serve sundaes and handmade sorbetto gelati here. Keep an eye out for pretzel pocket specials: Center City Pretzel Co. buns filled vanilla, chocolate, or twist soft serve.

📍1928 E. Passyunk Ave., 📞 215-514-3930, 🌐

Order ice cream in a cinnamon doughnut cone at this veteran East Passyunk shop, which also blends chocolate and vanilla soft serve with homemade treats like chocolate-covered strawberries and peanut butter cups.

📍1800 E. Passyunk Ave., 📞 215-271-7621, 🌐

Brown sugar soft serve is made in-house and included in every dinner order at Laser Wolf in Kensington, where toppings rotate (the usual is pistachios, cherries, and crispies).

📍1301 N. Howard St., 📞 267-499-4660, 🌐

Brown sugar soft serve recently debuted at Dizengoff in Center City, where it’s topped with either strawberry shortcake or peanut-sesame dukkah over a chocolate magic shell.

📍1625 Sansom St., 📞 215-867-8181, 🌐

Find Rival Bros. espresso and sweet cream flavor 1-900-ICE-CREAM soft serve at Fishtown’s hottest pizzeria. Top it with an amaro.

📍1313 N. Lee St., 🌐

New flavors of scratch soft serve hit the menu at this Washington Avenue bakery every weekend from Memorial Day to late October. They trace the season: Think strawberry-rhubarb, sweet corn-blackberry, and pumpkin-walnut.

📍2204 Washington Ave., 📞 215-545-2939, 🌐

Pennsylvania suburbs

Fishtown’s buzzy ice-cream maker debuted grass-fed soft serve at its Ardmore scoop shop last summer. Flavors change weekly, on a whim, and rarely repeat. They come in pairs that twist together well. Recent examples include strawberry Nesquik plus roasted Sicilian pistachio, graham cracker plus key lime pie, and brown sugar cake plus pineapple. Look for soft serve at 1-900′s Center City and Fishtown stores soon.

📍18 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, 📞 267-227-1668, 🌐

Baily’s Dairy of Pocopson Meadow Farm

This West Chester dairy makes lots of products with its grass-fed milk, but vanilla bean soft serve may be the most delicious. One sought-after special offering: a half-cantaloupe filled with soft serve. Look for it at Baily’s ice-cream truck.

📍1821 Lenape Unionville Rd., 📞 West Chester, 610-793-1151, 🌐

Dairy Delite

There are two individually owned locations of this old-school Levittown ice cream shop, launched in the 1950s. Both swap in numerous soft-serve flavors with the seasons. On Woodbourne Road, look for strawberry, banana, pumpkin, graham cracker, orange sherbet, and pineapple Dole Whip. Flavors at the Old Bristol Pike shop include blueberry, apple, cinnamon, and ube (often sold as a mystery flavor).

📍972 Woodbourne Rd., Levittown, 📞 215-547-1636; 📍7504 Old Bristol Pike, Levittown, 📞 215-943-0600


Conshy Crazes and sundaes are built with chocolate, vanilla, and swirled soft serve and copious toppings at Conshohocken’s seasonal scoop shop, which also carries sea salt-caramel pretzel frozen yogurt.

📍515 Fayette St., Conshohocken, 📞 610-828-1413, 🌐

This family-owned ice-

cream maker got its start in South Jersey in 1894. It’s changed hands a few times since — it’s now owned by the folks behind Philadelphia Water Ice Co. — but the ice cream is still premium. All but one location (sorry, Glenside, the shop’s too small) has a machine that can pipe out numerous flavors of soft serve at the touch of a button, which results in colorful, Instagram-worthy cones.

📍323 Lincoln Ave, Prospect Park, other shops in Levittown, Linwood, Feasterville, and Hammonton and Brigantine, N.J.;

This walk-up ice-cream window in Ambler sells soft serve from April to October, which makes it a little special. Try it — vanilla, chocolate, or twist — in root beer float.

📍11 Lindenwold Ave., Ambler, 📞 215-542-0272, 🌐

New Jersey

Avalon Freeze

Avalon’s favorite ice-cream window (cash-only) sells chocolate, vanilla, and twist soft serve, plus sea salt caramel pretzel frozen yogurt.

📍2288 Dune Dr., Avalon, 📞 609-967-4141

A quick detour off the AC Expressway, this family-owned outfit infuses different flavors into its soft serve depending on time of year. Look for blueberry, strawberry, tiramisu, coffee, mint, orange, coconut, and salted caramel.

📍608 Cross Keys Rd., Sicklerville, 📞 856-629-3013, 🌐

Run by the Plum family since 1977, these two Shore-adjacent shops can create soft serve with all sorts of flavors. Try a chillie (soft serve blended with toppings) or a candy-shop sundae.

📍710 New Rd., Somers Point, 📞 609-653-0420; 📍109 NJ-50, Ocean View, 📞 609-390-0361, 🌐

This longtime ice-cream shop markets itself as “The King of Flavors.” Co-owner Joe Mosco snaps up new flavors for their 24-flavor system any time they come out — which means they can make about 40 intriguing flavors like guava, peanut brittle, and chai tea.

📍1540 N. Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, 📞 856- 227-1222, 🌐

Lines can get long at this 1950s-era diner/ice-cream bar, but they’re worth the wait. Get your soft serve dipped in a chocolate, cherry, or peanut butter shell.

📍9510 Ventnor Ave., Margate City, 📞 609-822-9559, 🌐

This old-school stand operates year-round, selling chocolate, vanilla, and twist soft serve and fruit-flavored sherbet by the cup and the cone or blended into flurries.

📍340 W. Main St., Maple Shade, 📞 856-663-1351, 🌐

Mister Softee

Pennsauken’s Mister Softee storefront sells what you’d buy from the roving ice-cream trucks, but it also mixes seasonal flavors into its soft-serve rotation: banana, strawberry, and orange cream in summer, peanut butter, peanut butter-jelly, and pumpkin in fall. Keep an eye out for almond milk soft serve, too.

📍3605 Haddonfield Rd., Pennsauken, 📞 856-662-3787

This strip of Haddon Avenue in Westmont is rich with sweets shops, but Primo Water Ice has a loyal following after 26 years in business. Besides chocolate and vanilla, its most popular flavors of soft serve are cotton candy, black cherry, and espresso (for the adults). Bonus: Sprinkles are always free. (Primo’s Cherry Hill outpost offers chocolate, vanilla, and twist soft serve.)

📍28 Haddon Ave., Haddon Township, 📞 856-854-8221; 📍484 E. Evesham Rd., Cherry Hill, 📞 856-685-7364, 🌐

This second-generation scoop shop in the “blueberry capital of the world” uses family recipes for its homemade ice cream. Owner Lou Graziano won’t divulge too much about how the custard is made here, but he mixes in fruit purees like blueberry, peach, strawberry, and pumpkin when the season is right.

📍1051 S. White Horse Pike, Hammonton, 📞 609-561-4423, 🌐